NBC's Matt Lauer sat down with the former host of "The Daily Show" Tuesday to discuss an upcoming benefit for individuals with autism, but the two took a moment before the segment's end to discuss a widening sex scandal embroiling Hollywood.
Jon Stewart was "stunned" to learn about the allegations against fellow comedian and good friend Louis C.K. He continued, "You give your friends the benefit of the doubt, I try to think of it in terms of, I've had friends who have had compulsions and have done things, gambling or drinking, and drugs, and we've lost some of them, some of them have died". "And you always find yourself back to a moment of, did I miss something?"
"Knowing what I know now, of course I would have probed Stewart more deeply", he wrote. And in this situation, I think we all could have. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d-k isn't a question.
Stewart also addressed a May 2016 conversation in which he dismissed the rumors about C.K. During a podcast taping for David Axelrod's "The Axe Files", Stewart laughed off a question about why he hadn't spoken up about the rumors about C.K. and said, "So the internet said Louis harassed women?".
Recalling the incident during his Today interview, Stewart said, "My first reaction was, What?!?"
The fallout continues for Louis C.K. after the comedian confessed to sexual misconduct last week, including global distributors dropping his new movie I Love You, Daddy and additional names in comedy condemning his behavior. Honestly, I'm not that connected to that world. "You know who you're talking to, right?" he tells the audience member, who cited a Gawker article and a podcast by comedian Jen Kirkman.
On Monday, C.K.'s longtime manager Dave Becky issued a statement apologizing for his client's behavior.
Stewart added that he has not talked to Louis CK since the reports of sexual assault allegations. And as he kept going, I was, 'Look, I know this is very serious. "I hadn't heard at that point of any of it", Stewart said.
"You get mad at yourself to for laughing it off, for thinking, 'that didn't happen, '" he added later. The comic was scheduled to appear on Night of Too Many Stars opposite Stewart, but HBO cut the comedian's scheduled appearance on Thursday.